New Mexico Weather: 3/5/17

Yesterday was mild, mostly sunny and had only light winds.  Overall, it was a beautiful day.  I was at a workshop all day that was supposed to have a hike in the middle of it, but we ran behind schedule and ended up shortening the hike significantly, much to my disappointment.

This morning has been mild, still and mostly cloudy.  The sun is washed out by the cloud cover here in Socorro:


The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a partly sunny and windy day, with a high temperature of 72 F. The winds will be from the southwest at 5-15 mph, increasing to 15-25 mph and gusting to 35 mph by the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 38 F.  The winds will be from the south at 10-20 mph.  The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the dry conditions and the threat of fire.  Much of the state is under a Red Flag Warning today.  The NWS Watches and Warnings Graphic is shown below:

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite imagery shows some thick clouds in a few large patches throughout the state.

The water vapor imagery shows that there has been some significant moisture return into state.  A new trough dips down through California, pulling Pacific moisture into New Mexico from the southwest.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a relatively dry boundary layer.  Overall, there was 0.23 inches of precipitable water present in the column.  There was no of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was a small thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 4.8 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 11 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 38 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to speed changes) this morning.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures, low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions), still winds, and clear skies over the state this morning. There are no major frontal boundaries present over the state at this time.

The surface pressure chart shows that we are under no strong pressure systems, with no strong pressure gradients over the state so far this morning.  The RAP shows that low pressure will from on the lee-side of the Rocky Mountains, creating a moderate pressure gradient over the northeastern corner of the state over the next six hours (and likely extending throughout the day).

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows southwesterly flow as a new trough approaches the western border of the state.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows some slight Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) over the northwest corner and north central part of the state by 00Z.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows no rapidly-rising air over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows no significant thermal advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The Precipitation chart shows there is a chance of precipitation in the northwestern corner of the state, due to the PVA and adequate moisture.

Today, Socorro looks to dodge the heaviest of the winds.  Depending on how the low pressure system forms and its relation to the approaching trough, conditions could become quite windy for the northeastern plains.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from College of DuPage – SATRAD

About highplainschasing

This blog is about my tales in storm chasing. My name is Seth Price and I am an instrumentation instructor at New Mexico Tech. My amateur radio call sign is N3MRA.
This entry was posted in Local WX, Photography, Practicing Concepts, Predictions, Satellite Imagery and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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